No room for racists in the PN

Involvement in politics never offers an easy ride. Unless they are charlatans, frauds or similar assorted villains, politicians do not have an enviable job. But for bigots tainted with sad racism the only way forward should be never to touch politics. There is no room for them and they should be not just rebuked but shamed outright.

Donald Trump is one such bigot: he is a racist who defends the indefensible so the quicker he and his ilk get the hell out of power the better for the US and the world.

In Malta the sad, terrible world of racism is rampant. Even if here on these tranquil islands we have never seen the trouble, the schism and the deep hatred witnessed in the US, racism and homophobia should be immediately addressed.

Unlike the Malta of yesteryear, today we have many outsiders living amongst us with various ethnicities, religions, beliefs and outlooks on life that might contrast sharply with the old Maltese norms. This should be a welcome thing; diversity makes us stronger not weaker.

Unfortunately, however, there is an element that survives on hate and hate-mongering. The right-wing base that Donald Trump won over is hardly as strong here in Malta. But a right-wing fringe lies dormant under the surface. The Patrijotti Maltin who took over the Norman Lowell mantle thankfully garnered as many votes in the recent election, as the lunatic fringe usually does. A good reflection on our electorate.

Does this however mean that all is fine with us and that we are all good people embracing inclusivity as our biggest ally? Can we pat ourselves on the back, smug that as a country we are fine with those who are different to us in colour, race and religion or sexual orientation?

Sadly our racism and homophobia are not to be sneered at. When the party in opposition can do nothing more than rebuke a contestant for its top post when his opinions and ideals are obnoxious then we should stand up, be counted and shout out loud: ‘Not in my name’.

Frank Portelli should withdraw his candidature, be made to withdraw it or be barred outright from the party. Even if he represents just .01% of the PN vote, and even if he has no chance in hell of winning, the PN should act immediately.

Frank Portelli has now announced that he regrets the day he decided to contest. He blames Daphne Caruana Galizia for this. I love this blaming of all our ills on this journalist—or, as people who think she is a festering growth in Maltese society, this blogger. If it’s not the Labour Party it’s someone else blaming all their ills and evils on this woman. She delves into and shows our warts; the war should be on the wart not on the one who points it out.

Frank Portelli should never have chosen to get back into active politics. That he is a dinosaur and not in a million years will he ever be considered as Malta’s future prime minister should not even feature in the debate. The man is a bigot, a racist and a homophobe: that is his problem and is slowly becoming the PN’s problem.

Let Malta not allow hatred in any form to grow, to take root. A bit of hatred kills a lot of love and it is hard to control. Let’s speak up every time we encounter it to make of our future a better way, a more inclusive way.